8.48         ndian      onom
     special and differential treatment in favour of                   abuse of anti-dumping laws and remove non-
     developing countries.77                                           tariff barriers (NTBs) used to block goods from
           Though this provision has realised the scope                developing countries.
     of unjustified kind of health and phytosanitory
     measures on the developing countries, the                         sWiss formulA
     developed nations have been beautifully able                      A variety of alternative methods are possible in
     to do so by validating their health and related                   the process of tariff reductions—some are more
     rules on scientific grounds. Such instances have                  common than others. Some are based on formulas.
     distorted trade in favour of these countries and                  But one thing should be kept in mind that
     the developing countries’ agriculture has been                    whatever formula be agreed upon it does not have
     the real loser. The developing countries accuse                   value unless it is properly implemented. Even after
     such measures as the non-tarrif barriers used by                  a formula or combination of formulas has been
     the developed nations to block goods from the                     agreed upon, the final outcome of tariff reductions
     developing nations.                                               may depend on the bargaining capacity between
                                                                            The Swiss Formula79 belongs to the
     The Non-Agricultural Products Market Access                       classification of formulas known as having
     (NAMA) is a part of the WTO provisions which                      harmonising impact. Since such a formula
     deals with the idea of encouraging market reach                   prescribes a higher/steeper cut on higher tariffs and
     to the non-agricultural goods of the member                       lower cuts on lower tariffs it is seen to harmonise
     countries.78 But the encouragement was objected/                  the rates by bringing the final rates becoming
     opposed by the developing countries, especially                   closer and bridging the gap.
     pointing to the non-tariff barriers enforced by
                                                                            The formula was proposed by Switzerland in
     the developed countries. At the Doha Ministerial
     Conference (November 2001), ministers agreed                      the Tokyo round negotiations of GATT (1973–
     to start negotiations to further liberalise trade                 79). But Switzerland opposes using this method
     of non-agricultural products. By early 2002, a                    in the current agriculture negotiations—it prefers
     Negotiating Group on NAMA was created. The                        the Uruguay Round formula.
     members at the meet decided to go for tariff                           The Uruguay Round (1986–94) negotiations
     reductions on non-agricultural products adopting                  in agriculture produced an agreement for
     the Swiss Formula.                                                developed countries to cut tariffs on agricultural
           One major concern that the members took                     products by an average of 36 per cent over six years
     note was of the small and vulnerable economies                    (6 per cent per year) with a minimum tariff cut of
     for whom a flexibility was committed while going                  15 per cent on each product for the period. It was
     for tariff reductions. For India, market access is not            a version of flat rate method of tariff reductions.80
     an issue of tariffs alone, but it means elimination
     of tariff peaks and tariff escalation in the markets                 nAtIonAl Food securIty Act
     of the developed countries. It will also end the
                                                                       The National Food Security Act was enacted
       77.   WTO, Article 14, AoA, 1994.                               by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and
       78.   As per the provisions of the WTO fishes, fisheries
             products and forest products don’t fall under agriculture   79.   WTO, “Formula Approaches to Tariff Negotiations”
             and have been classified as the non-agricultural                  (Revised), Oct. 2007.
             products.                                                   80.   Uruguay Round of GATT, 1994.